What's New in St Anton
For the 2016/17 ski season, St. Anton will be unveiling four new ski lifts. One of the key features of this development will be the link between Lech/Zurs and St. Anton as this will increase the area you can ski dramatically. In addition to that, there will also be easier access between the Stuben and St. Anton ski areas.
Overview of St Anton
St Anton ski resort: otherwise known as the ski capital of Austria, one of Europe’s top resorts and a mecca for off-piste skiing. A hefty list of accolades, St Anton skiing is one of the world’s best for competent skiers and especially those with the energy to après like its 1999.
Yet despite the party atmosphere, there is also a chic but wholesome air to the place. Spread out along the valley floor, the resort is actually a large working town, easily accessible by road and rail, which retains a traditional charisma and a pretty car-free village centre in the beautiful local style. The locals’ sunny disposition must have at least a little to do with the resort’s sunny position, but it almost definitely has something to do with the heavy snowfalls that are commonplace on the high snow-sure slopes. It is said that if you learn to ski in St Anton, “the cradle of alpine skiing,” you will be comfortable skiing anywhere. This is because, while there are a lot of nursery slopes along the village, some runs have a habit of proving to be harder than you first thought and busy pistes can get mogully, however, intermediate and advanced skiers couldn’t pick a more invigorating destination than St Anton ski resort. And if it all looks a bit familiar when you arrive, it could be because you’ve seen it all before in one of the many films made here. Think Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Chalet Girl and one of the first ever ski films, Die Weisse Rausch (The White Thrill), shot here in 1931 (you could even join the race based on the film every April).
Skiing and Boarding in St Anton
Like all the best resorts, St Anton skiing offers gentle wide nursery slopes at the bottom of the hill, especially in the Nasserein and Gampen areas. Unlike other resorts, St Anton’s skiable peaks ascend to dizzying degrees of verticality pretty quickly, with the toughest skiing at the top of Schindler and Valluga being close to vertical.
Once graduating from the choice of nursery slopes, beginners should make for the blues from the Ostang chair or take the Gampen lift up to the Plattiwald trail. The Nasserein and Rendl side also offer some lovely pistes on which to find your ski legs. Cautious intermediates, too, will enjoy the quieter Rendl “beach”, although much of the best skiing, including some classic reds and blacks, is accessed via the Galzigbahn. Intermediates looking for a challenge can choose from St Anton skiing’s miles of groomed but demanding runs, the longest being the 10.2km descent from Valluga – Ulmer Hutte – St Anton. The new World Cup downhill slope is a technique-testing red from Kapall or catch first lifts to hit the runs either side of Gampen for steep and deep early morning carving. Advanced skiers should not leave a St Anton ski holiday without skiing the number 34 piste from Kapall to Mattun and the number 3 under the Galzig. Schindler and Valluga offer the most accessible off-piste itineraries, with open bowls, steep chutes and narrow gullies to work your way through, or head to Stuben and float through the powder capital of the Arlberg area. The big one, of course, is the north face of the Valluga, which is seriously steep at the top before giving way to open powder fields down to Zurs. The large St Anton snowpark on Rendl boasts jumps, boxes, obstacles, rails, tabletops and kickers of varying sizes, plus a smaller area for beginners and a half pipe.
lift passes IN ST ANTON
The Arlberg area is a huge ski area encompassing both St Anton and Lech along with other resorts such as St Christophe and Stuben. This upcoming season the ski area is set to expand further with a new Gondola connecting the neighbouring ski area of Warth/Schrocken from the Lech side of the Arlberg. The full area pass available covers all of these areas and offers great value for money. It is ideal for intermediate and advanced skiers looking to cover as many runs as possible.
Apres Ski in St Anton
St Anton après ski is an international phenomenon. It’s the last run of the day, the moguls are taking it out of your tired legs and your St Anton chalet is calling. But as you wend your way down towards resort, you begin to hear a distant beat.
As you draw ever closer, an Austrian harpsichord and rowdy singing join and suddenly you find yourself dancing on a bar with an enormous jar of beer in your hand, sandwiched between two large Austrians pulling out all the actions to a song more cheesy than a fondue. This can only be the legendary Mooserwirt, where an alleged 5000 beers are served per day. If that doesn’t sound like quite your thing, carry on down to Underground on the Piste, hidden away just above the Galzigbahn, whose cosy candlelit atmosphere makes for a classy alternative to the noisy neighbours, or warm up with a gluhwein in Anton Cafe at the top of the high street. Roll back to your St Anton accommodation for dinner and a quick disco nap, then try Scotty’s, Bobo’s, Pub 37 or Piccadilly for live music. Later on, Postkeller hosts international DJs and Kandahar is open until 6am.
Non-skiing options in St Anton ski resort are numerous. The Arlberg Wellness centre has indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, massage and even gym classes. There’s also ice-skating, curling, bowling and a climbing wall. A choice of toboggan runs are available but the best is the illuminated 4.3km Rodelbahn – Gampen run. The St Anton Museum of Skiing is housed in the beautiful old Arlberg Kandahar House, built by Bernhard Trier in 1912, and offers some interesting insights into the history of the sport. Or see the whole history of skiing come to life in a multi-media spectacular, “The Snow Must Go On” ski show, put on every Wednesday in the World Cup Stadium by the 145 instructors of the Arlberg Ski Schools (free entry). For a truly magical winter experience, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride along the valley.
Dining Options in St Anton
St Anton ski resort has one of the most eclectic dining experiences going with over 90 restaurants, cafes and bars serving delicious Austrian, German, Swiss, French, Italian, Thai, Indian and Mexican cuisine.
The crème de la crème is the award-winning Austrian cuisine at the Hospiz Alm’s Ski Club Stube in nearby St Christoph, beautifully complimented by one of the world’s largest collections of Bordeaux wines. The oak-panelled dining room of the St Anton Ski Museum makes for an unlikely yet delightful spot for dinner. Seafood fans should grab a table at Underground on the Piste or check out the Thai buddah-bar style setting of Kandahar. Wonderfully cheesy fondue and raclette are on offer at Robi’s Rodel Stall restaurant or there are plenty of takeaway outlets selling pizza, hamburgers (meat and veggie), kebabs, crepes and sweet snacks for quick eats all day and late into the night.
Up on the hill, you’ll find a lot of history in St Anton ski resort’s mountain restaurants, plus lower prices than you might expect. Try the delicious Tyrolean fare of the 100 year old Ulmerhutte at the top of Arlenmahder. Cafe Restaurant Dorfstuba in Stuben just happens to be the birthplace of Hannes Schneider or the popular Rodelhutte on the route to Nasserein has a lovely rustic alpine atmosphere and Tyrolean cuisine. At the top of Galzig, enjoy posh nosh on Verwallstube’s sunny terrace or the restaurant at the top of Valluga has some of the best panoramic views going and is also accessible to pedestrians.